Disclaimer: I do not own Smallville or Supernatural...or Hallowed Ground.

Chapter 7/7

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"Crows."

That seemed to be the word of the day.

"Crows."

Then again, considering that the crows hadn't only killed the people in the cornfield but the whole friggin town...well...it deserved to be repeated a couple of times, right?

At least John Winchester and his hunting buddy Caleb, who'd recieved Dean's earlier message and had already been on the way, seemed more dumbfounded with the whole event than Dean had when they arrived hours later. They'd decided to leave the bodies as they were, since the way things were it was obvious that crows had gone batshit crazy and massacred everyone...and that made people less suspicious of, well, other people. But Dean's car (which he was fussing over as if it were alive) had been turned back so that it was right side-up, and hooked up to his father's truck. There was no way that they could leave it there considering all the weapons and such that were hidden under the false bottom.

The girls' mustang was found on accident when the group brought John and Caleb to what remained of Hathaway's home, the mustang parked in the farmhouse not fifty paces away from the house.

It was here where the group convened before their final parting of ways.

Lois had noticed the way John Winchester had stopped short when he'd first seen her cousin in her white gown, messed hair, shoeless state, and the brunette couldn't shake the pale horror on his face when he had. It was almost as if he'd seen a ghost, and even now he couldn't look at Chloe. It annoyed Lois somewhat, had her wary. But this was Dean's dad and for better or worse she trusted Dean, so she was going to trust John as well.

Chloe didn't seem to mind John's behavior, instead half inside of the car going through her bags for something to change into. It wasn't surprising that the girl wanted to get out of what Lois was calling the "Virgin Sacrifice" dress.

"Was what she said about her mother and father true?" Dean asked softly, coming to stand next to Lois, eyes on where Chloe was making a face at a shirt she surveyed. "Or was it just her way of stalling?"

"I wish she was that good of a storyteller." Lois sighed before turning her head towards Dean. "The devil can't have children, right?"

Dean frowned. "I don't even know if the devil exists to be truthful. No one does. I mean, we know that there are demons but there are few amongst us and those we find are exorcised right back down. We really don't have tea and biscuits with them, you know? But from what we've gathered over the years, and with the knowledge of hunters before us...well...it's a unanimous agreement that while a demon can possess someone if they impregnated someone else while in that body the baby would be completely human and the child of the human parents. Demons can't have children. It's just not genetically possible."

Relief she didn't want to acknowledge raced through her as she nodded. "Good."

Caleb gazed at the cornfields. "We should burn it all. Salt the whole place first though. Just in case."

Lois frowned as she turned towards him. "But according to the Bible in the church they said that burning the body only released his spirit from his flesh. It's what they did with his original body, and they buried his ashes in the ground of these cornfields. Fire doesn't destroy him."

"Obviously he has another anchor, other than his body or house." John Winchester came towards them, face dark and determined. "What else do you know would be of importance to him? What could he have held dear?"

"This whole place was important to him. The cornfields are where he killed his victims, the church is the second thing he built after his house, the Bible of theirs was has all sorts of visions of his written down." Lois ran her fingers through her knotted hair with a wince. "I don't know what the tie could be."

"This could get tricker than we thought." John frowned darker. "We need to figure this out and get it done before someone realizes this town's massacred and call the sheriff of Liberty to come down and investigate."

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In the underground shelter, the pecked body of the man Preacher Hathaway had possessed lay mutilated, almost dead.

Almost.

The twitching of his fingers proved that there was still life in that corpse.

"You know, you and your minions stopped being amusing a long time ago, but I've been too busy to step in. Plus, I wanted to see if you'd actually prove useful for once." A voice declared as a man emerged from the darkness, the light shining from the hole above lighting his handsome features. "But even now you proved to be not worth the effort."

Those fingers continued to twitch.

"Not only that, but you disobeyed me. I gave you the cousin, tall dark and beautiful, just the way you like 'em. She was the one who was yours! I gave you her name and yet you got greedy. You wanted the little young one instead." He kicked at the head of the body at his feet. "You sick pervert."

A groan.

"There's a reason your daughter went and told the people of Liberty about what you did...didn't know how to keep it in your pants when around little girls, did you?" Scratching his forehead, the man sighed as he went back to the wall and leaned against it, shadowed once more. "You let me down, and not only that, but you endangered something bigger than your plans of grandeur and dominion over this shitty town."

A fingernail clawed into the ground.

"Do you know how long I've been working this? Do ya?" A growl escaped his lips. "Johnny boy ruined it for me once, and poor little Mary died because of it." He shook his head. "I didn't want Mary to die...I liked her. She had spirit, you know? And her lips? Sweet as honey." His own lips curved in some amusement. "I have to say though, witnessing John freak out when he first saw the girl was golden. Loose blonde hair, wide green eyes, long white gown...reminded him of the last time he saw his wife. She looks like her, too. And she has her spirit." He tilted his head to the side. "I thought her mother might have broken her...but obviously it just needed a little shock to return...which I admit I can thank you for. There. You've served some purpose."

A whimper.

"But you went against me, you would have ruined everything if I hadn't been manipulating things subtly so Dean wouldn't realize that there was a demon in his midst." The demon's eyes flashed golden as he drew nearer. "Consider our contract terminated." He sneered. "Enjoy your stay in hell."

And with that he stomped on the body's neck, breaking it, watching as the spirit within burnt itself out like explosions.

Smirking, Azazel gazed up out of the hole in the roof.

"Let it allllllllllllll burn."

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Hope was on fire.

Not only was the whole town on fire, but every single cornfield surrounding it had gone up in flames almost simultaneously.

They'd barely had the time to jump into their vehicles and race out of their before they were trapped in the infernal blaze.

In the rush Dean had had to get into their car, and they followed his father and Caleb out into the highway, staying behind the towed Impala.

"What does this mean?" Lois asked, her grip on the steering wheel tightening as she sent her passenger a sideways glance. "Is it over?"

"I have no idea." Dean growled as he ran his hand over his hair. "Nothing about his hunt has been normal."

Considering Chloe was so silent in the back, Lois sent her cousin a look in the rearview mirror, finding the blonde staring out of the back windshield at the huge column of smoke that was Hope burning. She hadn't been able to change out of the white gown, and the bottom of her feet were filthy and cut. Lois was going to have to tend to them once they reached a motel that was far, far away from Hope.

"We should probably just keep driving and putting as much distance between us and Hope, it's what dad's going to do now that we're on the highway." Dean sighed, leaning hard against the seat. "We don't need anyone connecting us to whatever happened back there."

"I'm just worried that this fire is just freeing him and giving him a bigger access to the world." Lois admitted, feeling silly and yet needing to have those fears addressed.

"Once the heat dies down dad, Caleb and I will return, probably with a few other hunters too considering none of us have a clue what the hell we're dealing with." Dean promised, turning his head towards her. "We'll finish it off though, if it isn't dead already. I promise."

She turned her gaze towards him and the soft smile she sent him was genuine. "Thank you."

His smile was handsome as he winked, before turning slightly in the seat to look back at Chloe. "How you feeling?"

Chloe turned towards him and sat down properly. "Would it be weird if I said I feel better than when we first arrived in Hope?"

He considered her a moment before clearing his throat. "I think there might have been some shit you needed to get off of your chest."

Her green gaze went to the window. "I guess."

He seemed to be debating something with himself before turning back to the front and staring at the back of his Impala. "So where to next ladies?"

Lois followed behind John when he changed lanes. "Probably going back to Smallville."

"Kansas?" Dean asked in surprise.

"Yeah, we're both born in Metropolis, and Chloe now lives in Smallville with her father." Lois nodded. "I'm enrolling in MetU."

"I'm from Kansas too...Lawrence."

"That's only a couple hours away." Lois smiled, amused by this coincidence. "Our mothers are from Lawrence."

Dean's eyes narrowed at that. "You don't say..."

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"Don't you think razing the entire place was a little...excessive?" Meg asked in amusement as she joined her father's side hours later, gazing across the road to where the group of hunters and two civilians had breakfast at a diner far, far away from Hope. The young demon was wearing the blonde meatsuit she enjoyed so much given the fact that they both had the same first name, running her hand over her pixie cut in thought.

"I had some steam to blow." Azazel shrugged, watching the family he liked to torment the most, although Sammy was missing of course. He knew the boy was having problems acclimatizing to his new life, but knew that the boy would be fine-hadn't he sent his agents to make sure of it?

"So what does this mean?" Meg wanted to know, folding her arms over her chest as she watched the cousins sharing a grin. "Lois Lane was supposed to be trapped in Hope and the mother of Hathaway's new host. She was supposed to be out of the way. Obviously that didn't work out."

"Obviously." Azazel wondered at his daughter's love of pointing out the obvious.

"There's sparks of attraction between her and Deanie boy." There Meg went again. "That could beā€¦inconvenient."

"Winchester men have a way of getting in the way of my plans, that's true." Rubbing his chin as he watched Lois flip off Dean, who snickered at her, the demon thought for a moment. "But I doubt John's going to give them any time for it to be anything but a fleeting spark."

"True." Meg had to agree, nodding her head as her gaze went to where, on the same table, John and Caleb were already going over the particulars of their next hunt. "We probably have nothing to worry about on that front."

"I agree." Eyes flashing yellow, Azazel watched as Chloe's green gaze went to him, as she had during the crow attack.

"How-?" Meg frowned, eyes narrowing.

Chloe smiled at them before turning her attention to something Lois was saying to Dean which had the young hunter sputtering in indignation, the young blonde giggling.

"By sending the crows to save them, I seem to have won some degree of trust." Azazel contemplated that, lips tilting in a smirk. "On top of everything, this whole night might not have been a total loss."

"I heard." Meg turned towards him, clapping slightly, grin evil. "I doubt Deanie boy would be laughing so amused right now if he knew that the little blonde in there saved his life by making a deal with his mother's killer."

Azazel frowned, not liking the memory of Mary's death being his fault.

He'd truly liked her.

"I gave the girl a choice, told her that I'd give her whatever she wanted. I figured she'd do the obvious thing and ask for her safe escape from Hope." Azazel tilted his head to the side. "A part of me wanted her to wish for the deaths of the whole town-imagine how that could have corrupted her soul."

"But instead she wished for the nearly dead Winchester to live." Meg rolled her eyes. "It's so sweet and noble it sickens me."

Azazel nodded in agreement. "But it worked out in my favor. It didn't matter what she wanted in return...it was her being bound to the term of my deal what was really important."

Meg smirked as she looped her arm around his and leaned into him. "No one will know what hit them."

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The end?